194 The Enfant Terrible of Literature
he's chucked the Dining Room because they give him too
much to eat. He found another place where they gave him
four pennyworth of meat and two vegetables and it was
quite as much as he could put up with.
George: You can't kid me, Bill, that they give you too
much to eat, but I'll believe it to oblige you, Bill. Shall I
see you to-night ?
Bill: No, I must go to church.
George: Well, so must I; I've got to go.
So at Trapani, I heard two small boys one night on the
quay (I am sure I have written this down somewhere, but it
is less trouble to write it again than to hunt for it) singing
with all their might, with their arms round one another's
necks. I should say they were about ten years old, not
I asked Ignazio Giacalone : " What are they singing ? "
He replied that it was a favourite song among the popolino
of Trapani about a girl who did not want to be seen going
about with a man. " The people in this place," says the song,
" are very ill-natured, and if they see you and me together,
they will talk/' &c.
I do not say that there was any descent here from
Nausicaa's speech to Ulysses, but I felt as though that
speech was still in the air. [Od. VI. 273.]
I reckon Gadshill and Trapani as perhaps the two most
classic grounds that I frequent familiarly, and at each I have
seemed to hear echoes of the scenes that have made them
famous. Not that what I heard at Gadshill is like any
particular passage in Shakespeare.
Waiting to be Hired
At Castelvetrano (about thirty miles from Trapani) I had
to start the next morning at 4 a.m. to see the ruins of
Selinunte, and slept lightly with my window open. About
two o'clock I began to hear a buzz of conversation in the
piazza outside and it kept me awake, so I got up to shut the
window and see what it was. I found it came from a long
knot of men standing about, two deep, but not strictly
marshalled. When I got up at half-past three, it was still
dark and the men were still there, though perhaps not so